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U.K. CLASS OF 2020: UMG
11/27/20

 

Polydor signing Celeste burst onto the scene last year after winning the BRITs 2020 Rising Star Award and the BBC Sound of 2020 poll. She signed to UMG U.K. after Polydor Co-President Ben Mortimer played his copilot, Tom March, “Stop This Flame,” which was released as a single at the beginning of this year. March tells us: “Celeste’s voice just blew me away. It was very early, but we knew on the spot she was an artist we had to work with. Thankfully, that feeling is shared by everyone who’s come into contact with her music since.”

Celeste has spent this year putting the finishing touches on her debut album after her sold-out spring tour, which would have included a date at London’s 2,000-seat Shepherd’s Bush Empire, and summer festival schedule were canceled due to the corona-virus. Mortimer continues: “Celeste had such fantastic momentum over the last 18 months, picking up awards, celebrity accolades and critical acclaim all over. There’s no doubt Covid has affected her rise. She records with live musicians, which was obviously put on pause, delaying her debut. But she’s such a class act. We’re absolutely convinced she will weather the storm.”•


British psychedelic pop band Glass Animals aren’t a new act, with three albums already under their belt. They are new to Polydor, however, where they signed for their latest release, Dreamland, which hit #2 on the U.K. Official Albums Chart in August (the highest position they’d reached previously was #23). They also shifted nearly 80k in sales in the U.S.

Polydor Co-President Ben Mortimer tells us that after hearing Dreamland at band member Dave Bayley’s Hackney studio, the signing was a no-brainer: “They’d released some brilliant music and had established a ferocious global fanbase. It was just for us as a label to help them scale up. And, barring the enormous problem of not being able to tour, it’s been a great success.”

The album reached Top 10 across five album charts, including the U.S. (#7), Australia (#6), Ireland (#8) and New Zealand (#7), as well as at home in the U.K. They were also the first international act to take part in a live chat on WeChat for Glass Animals fans in China. Mortimer says the band’s global showing is “a real testament to how UMG can move together globally,” continuing, “We’re proud of the album debuting at #2 in the U.K., but what’s really exciting is how well they’re doing around the world.”• 


London-based singer/songwriter Mae Muller is fast becoming one to watch thanks to her R&B and jazz-infused pop and smart lyrics. She signed to Capitol in the U.K. after being introduced to the team via producer Two Inch Punch (Sam Smith, Rag ’n’ Bone Man, Rex Orange County). “The minute we met her, we knew we had to sign her to Capitol,” says label Co-President Jo Charrington. Since then, Capitol has focused on building a fanbase by releasing music and playing ever-expanding live shows Europe-wide. “Now we’re looking to build on these foundations and turn Mae into a global superstar,” Charrington concludes.

Muller has found support at BBC Radio 1, with her track “I Don’t Want Your Money” added to the Introducing playlist in early August. She subsequently released “So Annoying.” Her latest EP, No One Else, Not Even You, landed at the beginning of November. In August Muller was featured in Barclaycard’s online music series, Share the Stage, and sold out a socially distanced show for Camden Unlocked in just 20 minutes. She also supported Liam Payne on his livestream.

Capitol is pushing for inclusion in the tip polls and 2021 ones-to-watch lists in Q4, ahead of a single and mixtape release in 2021. Muller is planning a headline U.K. and European tour for April, including a date at the 1,500-capacity Kentish Town Forum in London.•



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